I came to Christ at a young age. I became the missionary on the playground & quickly became the designated “counselor” among peers. By 9, I was depended upon by adults in both school and church to reach out to other kids, be a “teacher’s helper,” & serve regularly in the 2's & 3's. As a child living on the church parsonage, I helped set up/take down for any church event since I was old enough to move a chair, & I knew where almost any item in the church was located.
I continued to acquire knowledge, be a top student in Bible Memory class, and accumulate responsibilities in church service. I understood that to pursue God meant to learn more about Him in Scripture. I knew that to be a useful Christian, you should be reaching out to others. As I looked at my life through my deceitful heart, I saw that those boxes were checked with double checks. This birthed complacency in my self sufficiency. I felt that as long as my Christian tasks are being completed, I’m happy to maintain the walk I’m in. My heart was measuring my “growth” by the increase in my knowledge of Scripture.
The Holy Spirit gradually began to help me notice that, though I didn't have an outward, obvious sin struggle, my heart condition was missing something. God prompted me to begin getting serious about my personal studies of His Word. As I read God’s Word regularly outside my required classes, I was challenged in ways I had never been. God began opening my heart to actively live out the Scriptures, notice the spiritual battles happening, and tend to it rather than having intellectual conversations/debates about it. As my high school friends began getting involved in sins, God brought me to tears over other’s sin struggles for the first time in my life and required me to be bold in speaking to it.
Throughout my life, God continued His great works within me. As He slowly worked on one piece of my heart at a time, He gradually brought me to a church that was instrumental in providing one large missing piece of the puzzle in my Christian walk. I was missing unity.
Through unity, the Lord brought me to understand that He has a specific purpose for me. I am not called to single handedly fulfill everything on my own in a race against the rest of the body. “Pouring myself out like a drink offering” is less about my involvement in Christian tasks, and more about my surrender to His lead in my every word, thought, and relationship. My knowledge of the Lord and His Word is simply to fuel the Spirit within me to propel me to do His work. As I feed the Spirit with His very Words, I put to death the flesh and allow the Spirit to direct me to the relationships, conversations, and spiritual battles He has given me to tend to. Regardless of any prior wisdom or knowledge, this death to the flesh is a daily, constant battle. I cannot be complacent with my past “hero” moments or tomorrow’s “Christian tasks”, and I will be humbled if my confidence is in my knowledge of Scriptural concepts. My days are not given to me for my own fleshly delight, but rather to enlighten, encourage, and equip the spiritual lives of others. As I surrender it all, I experience a form of worship with my life in unison with the rest of the body that will allow me to truly glorify my Father in the way He has requested.
“That they may all be one, just as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You have sent Me.”